Lighting a room warm without destroying skintones



I've been doing several tests recently trying to light a white walled room so that it had a warm feeling to it. Ideally I would paint the walls the walls tan or something warm to get this effect, but that isn't an option so I'm trying to do everything with light and gels.

I've been experimenting with a various strengths of CTO gels on china lanterns placed behind actors to light the walls and using a CTB Fresnel on the actors face keep decent skin tones (white balanced the camera to the CTB Fresnel). So far I haven't found any combination that looked natural to me, it always looks lit.

The walls always just look straight out orange to me instead of warm. Reducing the CTO gel then makes the change to subtle that it looks like I just forgot to white balance the camera correctly.

I'm getting closer to shooting and I'm running out of ideas. I don't have the greatest variety of gels, however if you know of any that might work better than CTO I'd appreciate any tips.

Well, obviously you are trying to do the right thing, which is separate the key on the subject from the light on the background so they can be different colors. If the light on the background is too orange, then use less orange gel -- or try putting the light on a dimmer instead to warm it up.

Also a warm-colored lampshade will naturally throw some warm light on the walls.

But it's very hard to light naturally when you have to work so hard to key the face separately from the room unless the people never get close to the walls. I seriously suggest you find ways of painting or dressing the room in warmer tones.